Joy last name popularity, history, and meaning

Find out how popular the last name Joy is in the United States and learn more about the meaning, history, and race and ethnic origin of people in America who are named Joy.

Meaning of Joy

A surname derived from the Middle English and Old French word "joie," meaning happiness, delight, or rejoicing.

Joy, like all of the last names we have data for, is identified by the U.S. Census Bureau as a surname which has more than 100 occurrences in the United States in the Decennial Census survey. The most recent statistics we have for the Joy surname is from the 2010 census data.

Popularity of Joy in America

Joy is the 2684th most popular name in America based on the data we have collected from the U.S. Census Bureau.

The Joy surname appeared 13,413 times in the 2010 census and if you were to sample 100,000 people in the United States, approximately 5 people would have the surname Joy.

We can also compare 2010 data for Joy to data from the previous census in 2000. The table below contains all of the statistics for both years in a side-by-side comparison.

2010 2000 Change (%)
Rank 2684 2607 2.91%
Count 13,413 12,741 5.14%
Proportion per 100k 4.55 4.72 -3.67%

The history of the last name Joy

The surname Joy has its origins in England, originating in the Middle Ages. It is believed to be derived from the Old French word "joie," which means "joy" or "delight." The name likely referred to someone with a joyful or cheerful disposition or personality.

One of the earliest recorded instances of the name Joy can be found in the Domesday Book of 1086, where it appears as "Joie" in the county of Berkshire. This suggests that the name was already in use in England by the late 11th century.

During the 13th century, the name Joy appeared in various records from different regions of England, including the Pipe Rolls of Yorkshire (1230) and the Subsidy Rolls of Worcestershire (1275). The name was also found in the form "Ioye" in the Calendarium Genealogicum, a historical record of English nobility from the 12th century.

In the 14th century, the surname Joy was associated with several notable individuals, such as John Joy, a merchant from Bristol who was mentioned in the town's records in 1312. Another early bearer of the name was William Joy, a landowner from Wiltshire, whose name appeared in the Feet of Fines for that county in 1349.

The 15th century saw the emergence of various spellings of the name, including "Joye," "Jaye," and "Jaye." One notable individual from this period was Richard Joye, a Protestant reformer and writer who lived from around 1495 to 1555. He was known for his English translations of various religious texts.

In the 16th century, the surname Joy was found in various parts of England, with concentrations in counties such as Berkshire, Wiltshire, and Somerset. One notable bearer of the name during this time was George Joy, a Member of Parliament for Wiltshire in 1572.

Other notable individuals with the surname Joy include Samuel Joy (1619-1689), a Puritan minister and one of the founders of Boston, Massachusetts; Benjamin Joy (1766-1828), a British naval officer and explorer; and Alfred Harrison Joy (1836-1924), an American artist known for his landscape paintings.

While the surname Joy is not as common as some other English surnames, it has a long and rich history dating back to the Middle Ages, with its roots firmly planted in the English language and culture.

Race and ethnic origin of people with the last name Joy

We also have some data on the ancestry of people with the surname Joy.

The below race categories are the modified race categories used in the Census Bureau's population estimates program. All people were categorized into six mutually exclusive racial and Hispanic origin groups:

  1. White only
  2. Black only
  3. American Indian and Alaskan Native only
  4. Asian and Pacific Islander only
  5. Hispanic
  6. Two or More Races

For the most recent 2010 census data, the race/ethnic origin breakdown for Joy was:

Race/Ethnicity Percentage Total Occurrences
Non-Hispanic White Only 78.15% 10,482
Non-Hispanic Black Only 8.41% 1,128
Non-Hispanic Asian and Pacific Islander Only 7.75% 1,040
Non-Hispanic American Indian and Alaskan Native 0.63% 85
Non-Hispanic of Two or More Races 2.27% 304
Hispanic Origin 2.80% 376

Note: Any fields showing (S) means the data was suppressed for privacy so that the data does not in any way identify any specific individuals.

Since we have data from the previous census in 2000, we can also compare the values to see how the popularity of Joy has changed in the 10 years between the two census surveys.

2010 2000 Change (%)
White 78.15% 82.83% -5.81%
Black 8.41% 8.66% -2.93%
Asian and Pacific Islander 7.75% 4.40% 55.14%
American Indian and Alaskan Native 0.63% 0.73% -14.71%
Two or More Races 2.27% 1.47% 42.78%
Hispanic 2.80% 1.91% 37.79%

Data source

The last name data and ethnic breakdown of last names is sourced directly from the Decennial Census survey, conducted every 10 years by the United States Census Bureau.

The history and meaning of the name Joy was researched and written by our team of onomatology and genealogy experts.

If you have a correction or suggestion to improve the history of Joy, please contact us.

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"Joy last name popularity, history, and meaning". Accessed on July 12, 2024.

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